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    ALL SMILES: Concongella owner-trainer Paul Rousch and Eppalock driver Michelle Phillips are all smiles after the win of four-year-old mare Tactics Are Rollin in the $6000 Sertori and Co Pace on Good Friday at Stawell. Picture: Claire Weston Photography.

Heats a highlight at Stawell

By Tony Logan

Stawell Harness Racing Club staged a successful Good Friday meeting in support of the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal, with plenty of action both on and off the track.

Highlight of the afternoon was the unusual heats into a final format of the Stawell Toyota Pleasant Creek Plate.

Elliminyt owner-trainer Julie Brimacombe’s five-year-old mare Ittakesluv, with Jackie Barker in the sulky, led throughout to score a soft victory in the first heat from Hartnett, Gary Pekin, and Keayang Omar, Annalise Scott. 

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The winning margin of 13 metres and short quote of $1.40 favourite served notice the Brimacombe-Barker team were the ones to beat in the final, provided the mare backed up for a second run, three hours later.

Charlton horseman Michael Gadsden combined with driver James Herbertson to land the second heat with seven-year-old gelding Dallas Charlie.

In a repeat of heat one, the even money favourite led throughout and scored by 7.2 metres from Nayomi, Lauren White, with Clarendon Scooter, Ryan Duffy, another 3.8 metres astern.

After a vet’s examination, the 10 qualifiers lined up for the final with both heat winners set to dominate from their favourable barrier draws over the sprint trip of 1785 metres.

After being crossed early by Clarendon Scooter from gate four, Barker was able to work her charge away from the pegs and assume the front runner’s role with her main opposition Dallas Charlie then forced to race outside them.

Raced to perfection, Ittakesluv was untroubled to take out the $10,000 final, scoring by five metres in a rate of 1:59.1 and posting a rare pair of victories on the same day.

Family affair

The finish of the $7000 Stawell Gift Hall Of Fame Pace saw a real ‘family affair’ when Time To Torque, trained by Peter Manning and driven by daughter Kerryn, snatched victory from Nosweetsforyou, trained by another of Peter’s progeny Michelle Wight and driven by Kerryn’s husband Grant Campbell.

Time To Torque took 20 starts to break her maiden status, but a win at Ararat last month taught the three-year-old filly something, as her next success came just three starts later.

Time To Torque is raced by her breeder Ian Corazzol, longtime supporter of the legendary Great Western horseman’s stable.


Concongella trained four-year-old mare Tactics Are Rollin out-toughed the opposition in taking out the $6000 Sertori and Co Pace at Stawell for owner-trainer Paul Rousch and driver Michelle Phillips.

The winner of five races in Queensland found a new home in Victoria in October and had four unplaced starts for trainer Luke Bryant before being purchased by Rousch. 

Since sporting the white, yellow and blue silks, Tactics Are Rollin has raced consistently with figure form to date of fourth, third, sixth, third and first.

Comfortable win

The popular 2024 Stawell Drivers and Trainers Gift saw the front marker Michael Bellman lead from go to whoa over the traditional 120-metre distance. 

Bellman took full advantage of the pole draw and generous mark to win comfortably from a bunch chasing minor placings, which included Kerryn Manning and backmarkers Jason Ainsworth and Ryan Duffy.

Bellman basked in the glory, adopting the famous ‘lightning bolt’ stance of champion Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt after the finish.

The entire April 3, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!